Case Study 4: Dashchoilin Monastery
The following information has been extracted from the
Mongolian Buddhists Protecting Nature Handbook which can be downloaded in English and in Mongolian.
Dashchoilin Monastery in Ulaanbaatar is known for conducting ceremonies for
companies initiating projects that will have an impact on the environment, in particular
ones involving mining. According to N. Batsaikhan, a lama at the monastery, 80%
of the companies carrying out land development projects in Mongolia come to
Dashchoilin Monastery to ask for such ceremonies in order to placate the local nature
spirits. These ceremonies are seen as a means to help ensure the land regenerates.
The companies do not however consult the monastery as to the location of their
activities or the technology to be employed; the monastery therefore has little real say
in those matters that have a direct physical impact on the environment.
Another critical environmental activity of this monastery in central Ulaanbaatar is
looking after government and local ovoos. Dashchoilin monks also hold worship
rituals for the lords of water springs. In 2005, the monastery planted 1000 trees in
Tujiin Nars and in 2006, 1000 trees were planted on the Bogd Khaan Mountain at
Ulaanbaatar. In 2007 a further 1000 trees were planted.
Dashchoilin Monastery cooperates with other religious, humanitarian and educational
organizations and is a member of the Young Buddhists’ World Union, Asian Buddhists’
Peace Conference and Buddha’s World Union.
N. Batsaikhan explains how environmental protection is an integral part of Buddhist
training. “Buddhist religion is based on science. It traditionally focuses on environmental
protection. Buddhism teaches not to litter, dig or kill animals and therefore protects
the environment. The key activity of Buddhism is to protect the environment.” N.
Batsaikhan believes environmental projects should focus on youth. “The key is to raise
awareness about environmental protection. Just one schoolchild collecting rubbish
outside his school can create awareness in those who pass by.”
Background to the Monastery
In the past, Dashchoilin Monastery hosted numerous scientists and monks from all over
Mongolia. In 1990 the Zuun Khuree Dashchoilin Monastery was restored. It now has
more than 100 monks, three temples (Tsogchen, Sakhius and Gandanchoinkhorlin)
and many rare statues. In 1998, the Zuun Khuree College was created to provide
training in general education for the community; including basic Buddhist teachings,
Buddhist Philosophy and training in Indian, Tibetan and Mongolian languages.
Most Venerable Khamba Lama Ch. Dambajav can be contacted regarding all
environmentally related projects. Tel: +976-11-352006
Pages about Mongolian Environmental Wisdom, taken from the Handbook.
The Mongolian Lord of Nature.
Sacred texts, places and ovoos.
Traditional Environmental Law in Mongolia.
The work that the monks, in conjunction with ARC and the World Bank and others, are carrying out to rediscover the sutras about sacred land in Mongolia.
Do you want to support this?
For full contact and address details of Mongolian Buddhist Monasteries, please see page 57 of the
Handbook. And for details of local Development, Environmental and Educational NGOs, please visit pages 58-59 of the
Other links to Mongolian Buddhism and the Environment
Link here to access the news story about the launch of the Mongolian Buddhist Handbook.
here to download the Mongolian Buddhist Handbook in English. (Please note this file is 1.15MB)
here to download the Mongolian version of the Handbook.(A 2MB file.)
Link here to download the guide to the Mongolian Buddhists’ Eight Year Plan (this file is 4.13MB).
Link to Mongolian Case Studies.
here on how to make contact with the Sangha.
To download the A3 poster of a new thangka about Buddhists protecting Nature, link
Brief History of Mongolian Buddhism.
Buddhism and the Environment.
Women in Buddhism in Mongolia.
Key Figures in Mongolian Buddhism.
Key Meetings in Mongolia.
Mongolian Buddhists and Development.
Mongolian Buddhists and Ecology.
Mongolian Buddhist Hunting Ban.
The Lost Sutras.